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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
April 12, 2007

Front Page Photo by David M. Korkowski

Bike Patrol
Four of six KPD officers getting prepared Wednesday for summer bike patrols.
Front Page Photo by David M. Korkowski

Top Stories
U.S. News
U.S. Politics


Ketchikan: New Poll Shows Alaskans Oppose Ketchikan's Gravina Highway Say Conservation Groups By M.C. KAUFFMAN - Conservation groups say a new poll released this week shows opposition to Ketchikan's Gravina Access Highway, a project which will cost $25.7 million for 3.2 miles of road according to the Alaska Department of Transportation leading to a bridge that currently has no assured funding.

Gregory Vickrey of the Tongass Conservation Society in Ketchikan said that the Gravina road contract, signed by the Murkowski Administration before leaving office, is currently funded by an earmark similar to funds set aside originally for the Gravina Bridge, known domestically and internationally as the "Bridge to Nowhere". Under intense scrutiny in the media and in Congress, the Gravina Bridge earmark was removed and the money was made available to the state for broader transportation uses said Vickrey.

However, U.S. Senator Ted Stevens disagrees that the original intent was to fund the Ketchikan and Anchorage bridge projects through earmarks. During a March 13, 2007 press conference, Stevens said that he faults the Alaska news media at the home front for not being willing to carry the story about the Ketchikan and Anchorage bridge projects.

Stevens said, "The bridges were two of 282 bridges in the highway bill passed by the House. They were not earmarks." Stevens further explained that when the bill came to the U.S. Senate, Senator Colburn offered an amendment to delete the funding for the last two bridges -- the two bridges for Alaska. Stevens said, "Even in Alaska, these bridges are referred to as being earmarks which they never were. I don't know what to do about this because it's hurting us [Alaska]."

Stevens said somehow Alaska became the target of the earmark crowd who believe these two bridges to be the greatest problem involved with earmarks. The Senator said, "Those two bridges came to the top of the priorities list after waiting for almost thirty years for the approval of the bridges."

The poll, conducted by Hays Research Group a public opinion research firm located in Anchorage, found that 71% of Alaskans are opposed to construction of the Gravina Access Highway under current conditions. This survey was conducted across the State of Alaska including Ketchikan on April 4th-5th 2007. 406 respondents were contacted by telephone for the survey according to information provided by the Hays Research Group website. The margin of error for this survey is +/- 4.9% with a 95% confidence interval.

Of the 406 responding to building the Gravina Highway now without funding in place for the bridge, 76 were in support, 287 opposed and 43 didn't know or refused to participate in the poll.

The poll asked the following question: "Although there is no dedicated source of funding for the Gravina Bridge (in Ketchikan), the State is currently moving ahead with the Gravina Access Highway - a 3.2 mile road that will connect the bridge to the airport. The contract for this road is 25.7 million dollars. Do you support spending approximately 8 million dollars per mile to build the Gravina Access Highway now (before funding is secured for the bridge project)?"

Gregory Vickrey of the Tongass Conservation Society in Ketchikan stated, "From this poll, it is clear the majority of Alaskans and folks in Ketchikan are opposed to spending money for this sort of road when there are no dedicated bridge funds. Without a bridge this is a road to nowhere, and at $8 million per mile, the cost is too high." - More...
Thursday - April 12, 2007


Ketchikan: 2007 Sourdough Stampede Kicks Off Running Season - Ketchikan's running season started off with a bang Saturday, April 7 with the Ketchikan Running Club's Sourdough Stampede. Kayhi student Coleman Alguire smashed the one mile record with a scorching 5:18 effort. The women's mile winner was Kyleen Luhrs with a time of 6:29. Kyleen's run was the second fastest woman's time in the eight years of this race. The 5K race winner was Rory Jenkins with a 18:11. Rory's time was also the second fastest in the history of this event. The 5K women s race featured a tie for first place with Tara Wilhelm and Natalie Pfeifer crossing the line at 22:58.

Stampede Winner

Coleman Alguire smashed
the one mile record with 5:18,
winning the one mile run.
Photo courtesy Bill Elbertson

Thirty-one runners completed the one mile run and 27 finished the 5K. This popular annual event starts and ends at the Veterans Of Foreign Wars building at 3113 Tongass Ave. A pancake breakfast and awards followed the running event for every participant.

Race director Fred Jorgensen said: "This is a really great kick off for our local running season. The event works because of the community spirit of the many volunteers. The VFW has hosted the crowd of hungry runners since 1999. Princess Tours provides bus transportation to the 5K start at the car wash. Tongass Trading, Alaskan and Proud, Northern Sales and Remax of Ketchikan provide prizes for all our athletes plus we have returning excellent pancake cooks Bev Zaugg and Laurie Elberson." - More...
Wednesday - April 11, 2007

Asset Builders March 2007

Asset Builder for March 2007
Ketchikan Children's Library & Librarians

Librarians from left to right:
Shawna Carter, Charlotte Glover and Vera Freeman
Photograph Courtesy Karen Eakes


Ketchikan: Asset Builder for March 2007 Ketchikan Children's Library & Librarians - PATCHWorks announced the selection of the Ketchikan Children's Library and its librarians as the "Asset Builders of the Month" for March. The presentation was made at the March"Family Night" event held at the Children's Library. PATCHWorks Director Karen Eakes said, "This recognition is well deserved for an organization that is successful in providing programs that reach out to the entire community and particularly serve the needs of our children." Eakes said as the nominator stated, "the Children's Library is committed to serving all of the children in our community - and they do it with a tremendous amount of warmth and friendliness".

The Children's Library has numerous programs that promote reading, creative activities, and connecting families through learning and sharing. Story Hour occurs on all Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays at 10:30 am for preschool-aged children. BOOKTALK is hosted every Thursday on KRBD from 6:30-7:00 pm by Charlotte Glover, the head children's librarian. The Children's Library also partners with Gretchen Klein of the Association for the Education of Young Children in Southeast Alaska (AEYC-SEA) and KTOO, a public television station, to plan and host monthly "Family Nights". During these events, families enjoy a light meal together and enjoy presentations by guest speakers. The presentation topics are designed to be of interest and pertinence to young children, and these "Family Nights" wonderfully encourage families to spend valuable time together. - More...
Thursday - April 12, 2007

Match of the Month: March 2007
"Little" Kayla (on the left) and "Big" Sara
Photo by Nancy Coggins


Ketchikan: Match of the Month: March 2007 By NANCY COGGINS - "It was just one of those days that ended up being a great time!"

One of their favorite days together started at Ketchikan's Blueberry Arts Festival when "Big Sister" Sara and "Little Sister" Kayla walked around for hours, participating in all its activities. Kayla thoroughly enjoyed the pie-eating contest, getting all messy with her friends. Then they walked all over town and ended up going to the movies.

Kayla's mom considers the pair "a match made in heaven." She feels that since Kayla has had the opportunity to be a part of a Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) Community Match, she has blossomed and come out of herself. She says, "Kayla has benefited so much. The match gives her a chance to talk about life and things in general with someone different from the family." - More..
Thursday - April 12, 2007


Basic Rules

letterNew Running Track! By Becky Maynard - Wednesday PM
letterA Time to Refocus By Michael Spence - Wednesday PM
letterDo We Really Need a New Public Library? By Robert D. Warner - Wednesday PM
letter Driving Team Announced! By Tom LeCompte - Tuesday PM
letterDon Young Guest of Honor at Pork Dinner By Carol Cairnes - Tuesday PM
letter Tongass Roads By Joan Hurliman - Tuesday PM
letter Swan Death over Easter By Terri-Lee Gould - Tuesday PM
letter In the interest of "facts" By Penny Marksheffel - Tuesday PM
letter Thanks Jim for your caring... By Anita Hall - Tuesday PM
letter A Bridge to Somewhere By John Maki - Tuesday PM
letter Trash By Rebecca Simpson - Tuesday PM
letter Bridge to Where? By Charlotte Tanner - Tuesday PM
letter Coming Home to Ketchikan By Aisha Marshall - Tuesday PM
letterFacts, not opinions By Joel Galli - Sunday PM
letter Tongass Coast Aquarium/ Oceans Alaska By Rob Holston - Sunday PM
letter School, etc By Alaire Stanton - Sunday PM
letterK-town in general By Richard Harney - Sunday PM
letter 70% of the community?
By Soren Wuerth - Sunday PM
letter Bridge to Somewhere!! By Forrest A. Mackie - Sunday PM
letter The Liberating Truth By George Miller - Sunday PM
letter Traduced By Chris Elliott - Sunday PM
letter Open Letter to Sitnews By Patti Fay Hickox- Sunday PM
letter Mutt Breeders By Vickie Hansen - Sunday PM
letter 70 percent of our population? By Kevin Mackey - Sunday PM
letter Elkins will be missed By David Hull - Thursday PM
letter Treatment of School Board President By Peter Bolling - Thursday PM
letter Proud of Superintendent Martin's Performance By Bill Thomas Sr. - Thursday PM
letter Never mind By Chris Elliott - Thursday PM
letter Ketchikan Underground By Evan Bolling - Thursday PM
letter More on Maturity and "K.U." By Peter Stanton - Thursday PM
letter Ketchikan Underground By Shane Johnson - Thursday PM
letter RE: "Fancy paint Jobs" By Scott Willis - Thursday PM
letter Dog breeding By Margaret Cloud - Thursday PM
letter Hooray for Purebred Dogs! By Vickie Hansen - Thursday PM
letter Puppy Mills By Kris Hansen - Thursday PM
letter Tongass Coast Aquarium/ Oceans Alaska By David G. Hanger - Wednesday PM
letter My gratitude to Mr. Martin By Cecelia Johnson - Wednesday PM
letter New School Superintendent By Mark Murdock - Wednesday PM
letter SE Alaska State Fair- Ketchikan Town Rep. Needed ASAP By Frances Field - Wednesday PM
letter Mature? By Jaime Zink - Wednesday PM
letter REC Center By Michelle Fry - Wednesday PM
letter Bored in Ketchikan? By Shari Fisher - Wednesday PM
letterThank you for your support By Tony and Sharyl Yeisley - Wednesday PM
letter RE: Breeders, Kids .......... Volunteering By Scott Kline - Wednesday PM
letter Dog Breeding Debate By Laurie Donati - Wednesday PM
letter Please Don't Attack Those You Don't Know By Kajla Bellon - Wednesday PM
letterMore Viewpoints/ Letters
letter Publish A Letter


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Book Reviews

Parnassus Book Reviews: "The Forest Lover" by Susan Vreeland a Book Review by MARY GUSS - Although it is fiction, "The Forest Lover" is based on the life of Emily Carr, an actual historical character. Carr is already known to many Southeast Alaskan's. Others will newly come to appreciate her through this novel.

Emily Carr was born in Victoria, British Columbia in 1871. Before she turned twenty she left Canada to study art in San Francisco. From there her studies took her to London, from which she returned in 1906. Back in British Columbia -- in the wildest parts of that province -- she searched for inspiration and escaoe from everything that hemmed iher in. The first page of Ms. Vreeland's novel relates: - More...
Thursday - April 12, 2007

Parnassus Book Reviews: "The March" by E. L. Doctorow a Book Review by MARY GUSS - I have heard it said that two of the three most written-about events on earth are the sinking of the Titanic and the American Civil War. The March is a novel about the latter, fictional, but weaving in characters who lived and died during that time. It is a very linear novel -- the progress of the march is linear, the ragged lines of people are linear -- but there is periodically a bulge in the line where events or people are expanded. Those bulges are the most satisfying parts of the novel, balancing somewhat the frustration of losing people out of the line, never to see them agarin or to know what ultimately happens to them.

The march referenced in the title is William Tecumseh Sherman's march across Georgia to the sea, then northward through the Carolina's, in the company of thousands of his Union soldiers. He is obviously one of the main nonfiction characters in the book. Depending on which other character is speaking of him, Sherman is either heaped with praise or villified: - More...
Thursday - April 12, 2007

Columns - Commentary

Ben Grabow: Fighting the illogical tyranny of bottle water - Yes, I'll admit it. I pay for water.

I buy my water at pre-Bush gas prices - about a dollar a gallon. It's store-brand, sold in repurposed milk jugs, and as economical as bottled water gets without owning your own break-room cooler. But it's still 93 cents I shouldn't be spending.

I'd gladly pay five cents for the jug's worth in plastic, and two cents for that tamper-proof lid. But I cannot open my wallet for something that flows freely from my sink, garden hose, and showerhead without feeling a slight twinge of liberal guilt and the sharp sting of plain logic.

I feel the cold smack of logic every time I hoist five individual gallons of spring water into my shopping cart. But I suffer the blows for good reason - in fact, for the only good reason to go against one's own common sense. I do it for love. - More...
Thursday - April 12, 2007

Jason Love: Fishing with Dad - My dad came down the mountain -- Big Bear -- holding one commandment: Thou shalt go fishing. Dad is an old fisherman and I ... well, I carry Purell.

My dad thought I was a natural when he caught me, age three, plucking fish from the aquarium. He freaked out like I was eating them, when it was strictly catch and release.

Why, anyway, would I hunt for something that costs a dollar at McDonald's? And while we're asking questions, isn't "Filet-O-Fish" a little ambiguous? Filet o' what kind of fish? Goldfish? Gefilte fish?

McDonalds: Ask us no questions; we'll tell you no lies.(tm)

At least my dad didn't charter a boat. Fish aren't the brightest of God's creatures, yet we come on with radar, sonar, migration charts. Some fish just lose their nerve and jump in the boat as you pass. - More...
Wednesday AM - April 11, 2007

Preston McDougall: Chemical Eye on Giving Mules Their Sexy Back - Justin Timberlake, a Memphis-born pop superstar, was recently dissed by the State Senate in Nashville - apparently he is too sexy. If Idaho Gem were to make an appearance during Mule Day (April 12 - 15) in Columbia, Tennessee, I'm sure that he would receive a hero's welcome - from the mules at least, since he represents them getting their sexy back.

Mules, as you may know, are a hybrid species created by crossing a jack with a mare. Farmer Brown has 23 pairs of chromosomes, Sire Jack has 31, Dam Mare has 32, but, like all mules, Idaho Gem has 31 and a half pairs.

This odd number of chromosomes makes mules incapable of reproducing - the old-fashioned way. However, cloning provides a reproductive pathway for sterile animals, such as mules. Modern cloning technology made headlines in 1996 when Scottish scientists took the nucleus, which contains all 27 pairs of sheep chromosomes, from a mammary cell of a mature ewe, and inserted it into an evacuated egg cell from another ewe. The lamb went to full term, and was named Dolly in consideration of her origin, which was ramless. - More...
Wednesday AM - April 11, 2007

Bob Ciminel: Things I Don't Care About - I don't care how Anna Nicole Smith died or who fathered her daughter. I don't care what Sean Penn thinks about George Bush. I don't care that the Justice Department fired eight Federal prosecutors, just like I didn't care that Bill Clinton fired 92 of them. Heaven knows we can always find more lawyers!

I don't care what Al Gore thinks about global warming. In fact, I don't care about global warming. If we stopped global warming today, tomorrow the liberals would begin complaining about global cooling! Besides, if you listen to the enviro-wackos, all we have to do is elect a Democrat in 2008 and the globe will stop warming.

I don't care if Hillary Clinton wins the 2008 presidential election or that the Democrats control Congress. In the four years they have to totally screw up our government, judicial system, tax code, and war against terror, they will guarantee a Republican president and Congress for the rest of my lifetime. I will go into retirement comfortable in the knowledge that my grandchildren may have the opportunity to live in a world at peace, but if they don't, at least they will live in a country that can still kick butt in any part of the world that does not want world peace. Are you listening, Iran? - More...
Wednesday AM - April 11, 2007

Dan K. Thomasson: Trumpets sound for global warming - What's that old line: "The end of the world has been delayed indefinitely because of a shortage of trumpeters"? Well, there's an increasing number of them now. Hardly a day goes by when someone hasn't signed up to trumpet the Apocalypse, from Al Gore to international scientific panels and even the U.S. Supreme Court.

Whatever your feelings about global warming, the political realities of it are here to stay. If there was any doubt about that, the high court dispelled it with its narrow ruling that puts the Environmental Protection Agency on notice that claiming lack of authority to regulate greenhouse gases in auto emissions won't cut it.

Between the lines of the court's opinion is the recognition that "yes Virginia, there is a boogeyman" and it comes in the form of chemical elements that are trapping the heat of the Earth, an opinion that preceded by only a few days a long anticipated international report that 90 percent of the problem is manmade. For any agency or administration to ignore this issue in the face of such an overwhelming chorus of warnings is to flirt with political suicide. - More...
Wednesday AM - April 11, 2007

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